Moroccan security services arrested popular Youtube influencer “Mi Naima” on March 18 for sharing fake news about the COVID-19 situation in Morocco.
Rabat – The First Instance Tribunal of Casablanca sentenced today the Moroccan Youtube influencer known as “Mi Naima” to one year’s imprisonment, after she was accused of diffusing fake news about the novel coronavirus in Morocco.
Moroccan police arrested the 48-year-old woman in Fez for sharing a video on Youtube, on March 18, in which she claims that COVID-19 does not exist.
Moroccan security services arrested self-titled Mi Naima for sharing fake news and for not complying with orders from security services, the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said in a statement following her arrest.
Mi Naima, who has over 467,000 followers on the video-sharing site, appeared in several videos on other Youtube accounts where influencers condemned her behavior that compromised Morocco’s response to the pandemic.
Following the public’s reaction, the influencer posted another video in which she apologizes to Moroccans.
The police arrested her for inciting people to not comply with orders and the preventive measures that the government put in place to tackle the spread of the virus.
DGSN had been working against the spread of fake news before the March 2 declaration of the first COVID-19 case in Morocco.
From March 20 through April 6, DGSN arrested 82 individuals for actions that destabilize citizens’ security amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the 82 individuals, charges included inciting people to disobey the rules of the state of emergency or commit acts of violence, posting violent or discriminatory content aimed at medical staff, and spreading fake news about the evolving COVID-19 situation in Morocco.
Since Morocco imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 20, police arrested a total of 36,048 people throughout the country for violating the state of emergency, as of yesterday, April 16.
Out of the total number, police brought 19,368 individuals before the public prosecutor’s offices, the DGSN said.